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Thanks to Butch Wood and Charlie’s 19th Hole, money from his annual fundraiser will go to putting in water features at the Jacksonville PetSafe Dog Park. Dubbed Max’s Memorial Golf Outing & Auction, the event will start noon Saturday June 10 at The Links in Jacksonville.

GOLF – Sign up by calling Butch 217.473.7428 or Keith 217.473.2236. $60 per person, 4 person scramble. Limit 36 teams. $100 deposit, rest due at event. Noon tee time.

AUCTION/PARTY- Everyone’s invited in the evening for food, fun and to bid on fantastic auction items starting at approximately 5:30. Check the event page to see what’ll be up for bid. If you’d like to contribute auction items or find out how you can help, message the Bark Park Initiative of the Jacksonville Park Foundation via Facebook.

Event info easily accessible at jaxbark.org.

Please help in our goal to bring water features (fountains, dog wash, dog spray) to the dog park.
  • Get the word out to golfers via jaxbark.org.
  • Help us find auction items (form).
  • Recruit people to come to auction.
  • Come to auction.
The Bark Park Initiative of the Jacksonville Park Foundation is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

 

 

 

 

gloves hanging to dry

Thanks to Nicole Riley and Jess Gale for starting the Jacksonville Community Gardening Initiative. They will be planting a garden on land previously donated by Town & Country Bank to the Jacksonville Park Foundation, located at the corner of Chambers & Church (north of the Town Brook).

The project kicks off with two events . . .

  • Work day starting at 9 am Saturday May 20 – come get your hands dirty and break ground in our new community garden plot. We’ll be building beds, moving soil and mulch, planting, laying pathways, and preparing our compost pile and greenhouse. Bring family and friends. Everyone of all abilities is welcome. Kid friendly. This is also a good time to drop off any tools or plants you’d like to donate.
  • Pie in the Sky! Pie Social and Auction from 2-5 Saturday May 27 – come out to learn about and support the garden & enjoy pie and refreshments. Pie auction begins at 3pm. Kid-friendly activities provided. Pie donations needed.
Will you please help by liking the committee’s Facebook page, and inviting friends to like as well. Contact Nicole or Jess by messaging via the Facebook page or use the contact form at the bottom of this post.

They’re looking for pies for the fundraiser, plants/tools for the garden and people who’d like to help. You can also donate now via PayPal (indicate “garden” in second screen.)

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Jacksonville Park Foundation board member Dan Coultas gets help planting sunflower seeds at the Garden in 2014.

Jacksonville Park Foundation is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

The Jacksonville Public Library has a speaker series for those interested in gardening. Here’s the remaining speakers . . .

Dragonflies 7pm June 12
For centuries dragonflies have been a source of fascination and have inspired myths across many cultures. Dr. Lawrence Zettler, Hitchcock Professor of Biology from Illinois College and illustrator of the book Dragonflies of North America, will introduce you to many unique varieties of this incredible insect and answer your questions about their habits, habitat and lifecycle.

Bats in Illinois and Around the World 7pm July 10
Dr. Bryan Arnold, Assistant Professor of Biology at Illinois College, is a behavioral ecologist who studies the social behaviors of bats. Despite their small stature, they have a huge impact on their habitat and are currently under threat. Have your questions answered and learn more about the many surprising and positive contributions bats make to the local environment.

Climate, Soil and Critters 7pm August 14
Climate change is real and happening right now. Its impacts can already be seen on a local level. Duane Friend is an Environmental and Energy Stewardship Educator with the University of Illinois Extension Office who will walk you through what climate change is, how it will impact your garden and trees, what changes you can expect to see in the future and the steps you can take to combat it.

For updates check the Jacksonville Public Library web page and refer to the Butterflies, Bees, Gardens and Trees series PDF schedule.

The City of Jacksonville and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency will host a household hazardous waste collection day 8am-3pm Saturday May 20 at Morgan County Fairgrounds.

Enter off Grand, and you drive through and don’t have to leave your vehicle. Acceptable waste includes (see link for full details) . . .

  • oil based paint,
  • paint thinner,
  • herbicides,
  • insecticides,
  • pesticides,
  • pool chemicals,
  • cleaning products,
  • mercury,
  • household batteries,
  • used motor oil,
  • lawn & hobby chemicals,
  • aerosol paints and pesticides,
  • and fluorescent lamp bulbs.

Agricultural chemicals, institutional wastes, explosives and fire extinguishers will not be accepted.

(Note latex paint is not hazardous – pop the lid off and let it dry then discard with regular trash.)

For further information, contact Phil McCarty, Director, Jacksonville/Morgan County Emergency at 217.479.4616 or use contact form below.

 

 

Final selection of Bark Park hoodies, sweatshirts and t-shirts on sale now at the YMCA.

Final selection of Bark Park hoodies, sweatshirts and t-shirts on sale now at the YMCA.

Here’s a great idea for Christmas! Get one of our Bark Park hoodies, sweatshirts or t-shirts for your dog lover (or for yourself). Proceeds go towards add-ons and other planned improvements at the new Jacksonville PetSafe Bark Park.

Bark Park wear is currently hosted by the Bob Freesen YMCA – pick one up when you go to work out. Best to pay with check made out to the Jacksonville Park Foundation (cash ok, too). Or, send a message to the committee via the JaxBark Facebook page to have one dropped off at your office in Jacksonville. Here’s a list of our inventory — color is Bark Park Blue . . .

  • $25 Hoodie — Large, Small, Youth Large, Youth Medium
  • $20 Sweatshirt — Extra-Large, Small
  • $10 T-Shirt — Small

Updated 12/29 – No longer at YMCA, just available on request via the JaxBark Facebook page

 

 

Jacksonville Park Foundation board member Peggy Davidsmeyer gives a tour of the trail leading to the Lake Jacksonville walk/run/ride bridge.

Jacksonville Park Foundation board member Peggy Davidsmeyer gives a tour of the trail leading to the Lake Jacksonville walk/run/ride bridge to cyclist Sandy Ballard.

The vote for a walk/run/ride bridge at Lake Jacksonville is scheduled for Monday night 12 September 2016, and a show of support is needed to get this item passed. Plans available to download from DropBox. With the bridge complete hikers/runners/riders will be able to go around the lake without risking IL-267. And families with small kids will have about a mile stretch of no/low+slow traffic road to walk or ride together in the woods.

What you can do . . .

  • Contact the Mayor and your aldermen (directory link) and express your support of the bridge, your experience visiting trails in other towns (and going to restaurants, shops and other pocketbook adventures while you were there). This project will not only be good for community health but also for the local economy.
  • Meeting 6pm Monday, 2nd floor of city hall. Process starts with study session, then vote comes later when meeting moves next door to council chambers.

Keep in mind the history on this . . .

  • When this walk/run/ride bridge came to the fore 2 years ago some residents of the lake subdivisions went through their county representatives to stop the project. The city attorney determined all this was on city land, and planning could progress.
  • After that and committee meetings former Parks & Lakes Chairman Alderman Bruce McDaniel asked Benton & Associates to donate a design for the bridge (thanks!).
  • That info and budget was used to request needed funds as part of this year’s city capital budget, and the bridge survived a challenge at that point.
  • Lately the counter argument has been the city needs to first do a trail to get campers to the concession stand and even around the entire lake, with the bridge as the final step — even though a lake trail has been kicked around since a 2003 city/county bike plan and for at least a decade as part of the city’s comprehensive plan, with no action.

Let’s pick the low-hanging fruit . . . Put in this bridge. Get a short trail for families to walk or ride. Get a way for confident bikers get around the lake on county roads without becoming roadkill on 267. Let the mountain bike club and others start volunteering to create trails at the lake which don’t require people to scramble over slippery concrete at the spillway to ford Big Sandy Creek. Get fishers easier access to more shoreline. Build on the short stretch for a trail around the lake or eventually a path into town. Open the lake for walking, running, cycling — for those who camp at the lake, and for the general city populace.

Post by Steve Warmowski, Friends of the Trails Initiative of the Jacksonville Park Foundation

The Friends of the Trails of the Jacksonville Park Foundation invites the public to tour the spot for a planned walk/run/ride bridge at Lake Jacksonville.

Volunteers will be on hand 5:30-6:30 Wednesday afternoon September 7 and 9-10 Saturday morning September 10 with plans for the bridge, and for a proposed bike transportation network. The final vote on the issue is expected at the city council meeting 6pm Monday September 12 (2nd floor City Hall). You can download lake plans via DropBox.

The designed and funded bridge is at the old West Lake Road crossing of Big Sandy Creek. The bridge plus the existing road bed would create a half mile of traffic-free path for families to walk or ride bikes, and enable people to run or ride bikes around Lake Jacksonville without having to travel on IL 267. Mountain bikers who made trails at Mauvaisterre Lake are chomping at the bit to put in trails at Lake Jacksonville that won’t flood. Plus fishermen will have easier access to shoreline close to the dam. And campers on the south side of the lake will have an option to get to the concession area without using their vehicles.

The area is city park land that you may visit at any time. Come during the tour time to get info, take a little walk in the woods to see the site for yourself and find out what you can do to make the bridge a reality. Use Facebook events for Wednesday and Saturday to spread the word. Or bring your dog and join in the simultaneous Dog Packs Wednesday and Saturday.

Directions from Jacksonville — take 267 south, turn left on New Lake Road, turn right on West Lake Road, go about 1 mile to parking lot.

Directions from Jacksonville — take 267 south, turn left on New Lake Road, after RR tracks and houses turn right on West Lake Road, go about 1 mile to parking lot.

westlakedam

Download plans. See the city’s comprehensive plan for references to a bike path around the lake. (Develop a trail system in Jacksonville for multi-purpose use around Lake Jacksonville on p 191, search the PDF for “bike” for other references.) Send feedback on the plans below. Thanks to Shawn Artis for creating the proposed bike transportation plan outline maps. Map of lake showing public land and existing/old roads ripe to be made into trails.

lakejax_hikebikelow

The Friends of the Trails of the Jacksonville Park Foundation invites the public to tour the spot for a planned pedestrian bridge at Lake Jacksonville.

Volunteers will be on hand 6-8pm Friday May 20, and 9-11 am Saturday May 21 with plans for the bridge, and for a proposed bike transportation network. They will be seeking feedback to pass along to the city’s Parks & Lakes Committee. You can also download plans via DropBox.

The designed and funded bridge is at the old West Lake Road crossing of Big Sandy Creek. The bridge plus the existing road bed would create a half mile of traffic-free path for families to walk or ride bikes, and enable people to run or ride bikes around Lake Jacksonville without having to travel on IL 267. Plus fishermen will have easier access to shoreline close to the dam. And campers on the south side of the lake will have an option to get to the concession area without using their vehicles.

The area is city park land that you may visit at any time. Come during the tour time to get info and provide feedback, and take a little walk in the woods to see the site for yourself.

Directions from Jacksonville — take 267 south, turn left on New Lake Road, turn right on West Lake Road, go about 1 mile to parking lot.

Directions from Jacksonville — take 267 south, turn left on New Lake Road, after RR tracks turn right on West Lake Road, go about 1 mile to parking lot.

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 9.31.55 PM

Download plans. See the city’s comprehensive plan for references to a bike path around the lake. (Develop a trail system in Jacksonville for multi-purpose use around Lake Jacksonville on p 191, search the PDF for “bike” for other references.) Send feedback on the plans below. Thanks to Shawn Artis for creating the proposed bike transportation plan outline maps.

 

 

 

Harry Ford of the Morgan Cyclists sends out a list of suggested spring rides. “These are dates and times I will ride, and I invite and encourage all to come along. More emphasis will be placed on after-ride socializing–i.e., breaking bread and replacing liquids.” Your suggestions for rides, social opportunities, whatever are welcome throughout the summer.

Saturday February 27. 9:30am. Maple Syrup Ride.  Start at “Downtown” Murrayville and ride to Happy Hollow Farms (Pat Ward’s Place) to see and learn about collecting sap to make syrup and sample the finished product.  Then take advantage of the natural sugar buzz on the ride back to Murrayville. BONUS:  The M’ville soft-serve ice cream shop opens on Saturday. (Those who want a shorter ride:  I’ll provide an alternate.)
Sunday, March 13. 4:00 pm.  Celebrate Daylight Savings Time.  Meet on the west side of the square, aka Central Park Plaza.
Friday, April 1. 5:30 pm.  April Fools on Bicycles.  Just be ridiculous and ride. West side of the square, aka Central Park Plaza.
Wednesday, April 6. 5:30 pm.  Regular Wed. Ride.  West side of the square, aka Central Park Plaza.
Wednesday, April 13. 5:30 pm.  Regular Wed. Ride. West side of the square, aka Central Park Plaza.
Saturday, April 16. Road Trip. Mt. Vernon-Rend Lake.  If you’re interested, contact me for details.
Wednesday, April 20. 5:30 pm. 420 Ride. Regular Wed. Ride.  West side of the square, aka Central Park Plaza.
Saturday April 23.  The Bard on a Bicycle/Shakespeare’s Birthday . West side of the square, aka Central Park Plaza.
Wednesday, April 27. 5:30am. Regular Wed. Ride. West side of the square, aka Central Park Plaza.
Wednesday, May 11. 5:30pm.Regular Wed. Ride.  Woodson.
Wednesday, May 18. Ride of Silence.  5:30 pm–Pre-ROS Ride west side of the square. 7:00 pm–ROS.Passavant Hospital Courtyard on north side. (See ride of silence website for details)
Wednesday, May 25. 5:30 pm.Regular Wed. Ride. Woodson.
Sunday, May 29.  Camelot/JFK Birthday Ride. Woodson.
Note:  All early season rides are subject to zero rain or snow, temperatures above 40 F and wind no more than 12 or so.

Morgan Cyclists has regular weekly rides leaving from various locations, as well as weekend rides and other events. Download the application form for contact information and instructions on how to get on the group’s mailing list. All rides are helmet required, no SAG.

The spot for Jacksonville’s new PetSafe Dog Park used to be the MacMurray Cabin, and before that the Kiwanis Hut. Hobie Hinderliter, historian of the Jacksonville Kiwanis Club, passed on a book of the club’s history.

Kiwanis started a campsite for girls and boys of the city in 1923, at a location about 6 miles east of town. The camp was later moved to Jacksonville parkland on the south shore of Mauvaisterre Lake, and a cabin was constructed by the club. Hobie said the Kiwanis Hut was used for family picnics for club members, burgoos for area schoolchildren, and an annual hamburger fry with memorable servings of watermelon. The cabin was later passed on to MacMurray College, and was used by their students and community before being transferred to the city of Jacksonville.

The foundation of the old MacMurray Cabin/Kiwanis Hut was recently cleared by Jacksonville Parks & Lakes workers as they prepare the site for the new Jacksonville dog park.

The foundation of the old MacMurray Cabin/Kiwanis Hut was recently cleared by Jacksonville Parks & Lakes workers as they prepare the site for the new Jacksonville dog park.

 

Here’s some excerpts from the History of The Kiwanis Club of Jacksonville . . .

1923
June 12th brought the first activity looking toward the construction of a Kiwanis Over-night Camp. Bricks were hauled to the site six miles east of the city. This movement, handled successfully by the Public Affairs Committee, headed by Dr. Bill Duncan and in absence by Lee Sullivan. This project was inaugurated by the Club on August 9th by the presentation of a perfected plan for the building of a Camp House.
On September 1st initial work was started and on September 3rd, Labor Day, building began in earnest. This work was carried forward successfully by the committee to the most minute detail including the establishment of comprehensive Camp Riles.
A report showed they had successfully built and paid for a splendid camp at a cost of approximately $1,000.00. It was turned over for the use of the boys and girls organizations of the City — a camp which, constructed privately, would cost as least $3,000.

1927
In the year 1927 the main project for the year was the moving of the Kiwanis Camp from the site East of Jacksonville. During the three years of its existence it was impossible to keep it in a fit condition for use. Break-ins, vandalism and the general destroying of the property made it imperative that we move it.
Ted Beadles, Secretary-Treasurer of the Illinois Steel Bridge Company, was a member of our Board of Directors; he was also President of the Park Board. He suggested that we move it to a site on Lake Mauvaisterre. After some time a dollar a year lease was made with the Park Board for a site on the South side of the Lake and the North side of Vandalia Road.
It was ecided we could build an all-year Cabin, fitted with bunkbeds, furnace, complete kitchen and toilets. Vets Chumley, a building contractor and an active member, was Chairman of the committee that supervised the work, most of which was done by members. At one meeting, we were served at the camp sire and we had a regular Cornerstone laying with all the ceremonies and placing papers in the stone. When the building was completed a committee handles its use.

1928
During the year we inaugurated the Family Picnic. This picnic was held at Kiwanis Hut. We had 78 in attendance, but that has grown and has become one of the most popular entertainments during the years.
The Sammy Nichols Burgoo Picnic was given for all school children in all schools up to the Fifth Grade. That also was held at the Hut. All transportation was furnished by the club members by trucks and cars.

1930
During the year 1930 the undersigned, Hugh Green, was president of the Jacksonville Kiwanis Club.
According to my recollection, that was the year in which the debt on the hut was finally paid off. The construction of the hut had been financed by issuance of bonds or notes which were held by various members of the Club. The finances were carefully guarded in order to meet the obligation. During that year the Hut was used considerably for various activities of the Club. It was found to be an excellent place to entertain the families of the club membership.

1933
We had our Family Picnic at the Kiwanis Hut, which was a very successful event.

1934
Another worthwhile project for the year for Underprivileged children was the “Burgoo” sponsored by a special committee headed by Pete Bonansinga. This picnic was held at the Kiwanis Hut and 400 gallons of soup were prepared and consumed by the children of the city.

1937
Back in November 1927 we laid the cornerstone for the Kiwanis Hut on Lake Mauvaisterre, which was operated successfully for several years. It finally became a “thorn in the flesh of Kiwanis“ and almost a “house of ill repute.“ Something had to be done — your president (A.B. Applebee) conceived the brilliant idea of selling it – literally to MacMurray College, and Hayden Walker, Hut Chairman, signed a sigh of relief when the deal was closed. Sense than hundreds of McEnery girls have transferred out too it’s beautiful setting for wiener roast and beefsteak bats (cq).

Edited — New information from MacMurray College Historian Lauretta K. Scheller . . . MacMurray College leased the cabin from the city until May 1986. College catalogues listed the cabin as part of the recreation areas for the students. A couple that worked for the college and tended to the cabin’s care retired in 1973.

The area known for the MacMurray Cabin and Kiwanis Hut is being cleared by City of Jacksonville Parks & Lakes workers, in preparation for transformation in the new Jacksonville Dog Park. A worker said the old cabin foundation is in good shape, with just one crack that can be repaired and reused for a new shelter. One Kiwanian still has the cornerstone of the hut, which was destroyed in a fire. Find out more about the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Office of Recreation and Park Resources planning process, with initial plans to be presented at a committee meeting 4-6 pm Monday February 8 at City Hall, in this previous blog post. Use the blog post’s contact form to send suggestions for the new dog park to the U of I team. Posted by Steve Warmowski/Jacksonville Park Foundation President.